SVX VER­SION IN THE WORKS

4 x 4 Australia - - 4cast -

LAND Rover is de­vel­op­ing a more off-road-fo­cused ver­sion of its just-re­vealed Dis­cov­ery. Ex­pected to pick up the SVX badge, it will be cre­ated by the Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle Op­er­a­tions that also cre­ates the go-fast SVR mod­els for Land Rover and Jaguar.

Speak­ing at the re­lease of the new Dis­cov­ery, chief en­gi­neer Alex Hes­lop told 4X4 Aus­tralia that the new car was be­ing de­vel­oped with 18in wheels; smaller than the wheels for main­stream Dis­cov­erys. “Clearly some­thing we want to do is get smaller wheels un­der­neath it,” said Hes­lop, who all but con­firmed an SVX was in the wings by say­ing “watch this space”.

Hes­lop said the 18in wheels shod in all-ter­rain rubber would re­quire a smaller brake pack­age, some­thing made pos­si­ble with the ar­rival of the four-cylin­der diesel en­gine (mar­keted as In­ge­nium). It’s likely to be pow­ered by the four­cylin­der, 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.

A prob­lem with the SVX is that an un­der­slung spare wheel lim­its the size of the fuel tank. Four-cylin­der diesel mod­els are fit­ted with 77-litre tanks, but an 89-litre tank is avail­able with the supercharged V6 en­gine (not com­ing to Aus). That larger tank would in­crease range by about 2000km (as­sum­ing it con­sumed the claimed av­er­age of 6.0L/100km).

Other pos­si­ble tweaks in­clude a snorkel and roof bas­ket. The SVX would also be a log­i­cal place to show­case the lat­est in autonomous of­froad tech, some­thing Hes­lop says will con­tinue to roll out in fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

“With each model year we put a lit­tle bit more semi­au­tonomous [tech]… and we’re go­ing to just take a lit­tle bit more con­trol into the car and away from the driver. At the mo­ment it’s very much about en­abling a novice to do stuff that they couldn’t pos­si­bly imag­ine pre­vi­ously.”

He high­lighted the All­ter­rain Coach func­tion, an in­te­grated pro­gram de­signed to ed­u­cate driv­ers how to get out of dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions.

SVO chief John Edwards pre­vi­ously told 4X4 Aus­tralia the com­pany was look­ing at two op­tions for its more off-road­fo­cused mod­els. “We some­times take in­spi­ra­tion from Camel Trophy and think about re­ally hard­core ex­pe­di­tion ve­hi­cles,” said Edwards ear­lier this year. How­ever, he also hinted that SVO could blend per­for­mance with off-road ca­pa­bil­ity.

“There’s an­other way of ex­e­cut­ing it which is to think about the kind of rally raid, if you like, where speed is more im­por­tant. We’re ex­plor­ing both of those di­men­sions.”

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